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The Graduation Bucket List: Do something that scares you

November 7th, 2013 7:16 am by Scottie Garber, INK columnist

The Graduation Bucket List: Do something that scares you

Dobyns-Bennett senior Scottie Garber shares her insights and experiences from senior year each month in “The Graduation Bucket List.”

No. 2: Do something that scares you.

At first glance, this may seem like a bad idea. Obviously you try to avoid things you’re afraid of at all costs, but in my opinion there are certain benefits that go along with facing your fears. There is possibility and freedom and other choice buzzwords that excite you, that make you feel as if anything is possible. And isn’t that what we’re supposed to be doing here in high school? Living a little?

Maybe what scares you is something common like heights, spiders or horror movies, things you can easily avoid most of the time, or perhaps it is something harder to get out of, like public speaking or meeting new people. Regardless of what it is, it’s holding you back in some way, nagging at the back of your mind. And why? Why should you let something insignificant keep you from doing the things you want to do? Here’s your chance. While we’re still in high school, dealing with the small stuff, it’s time to face our fears.

The summer before my senior year began, I took a job as a lifeguard at the Kingsport Aquatic Center. I was extremely excited about it, as it is stereotypically cast as the “fun job.” However, I was brought back to reality when we had to attend an in-service before the summer even began, where we were reminded of the seriousness of the jobs we’d taken on. Someone could get hurt. Someone could drown. Someone could die. And I would be responsible for that. I panicked.
When I went home, I told my mom that I wanted to quit. “Quit?” she asked. “How do you know you want to quit when you haven’t even tried it yet?”

She made a valid point. I decided to keep my job, even though I was terrified of it, and I was happy to learn that it wasn’t this horribly stressful, someone-could-drown-at-any-moment situation I had feared. It turned out to be a valuable experience that was definitely worth it, because I gained a lot of confidence and met some great new friends.

So, if you want to try out for a play or perform at your school’s talent show, do it. If you’re nervous about meeting new people, go out with people you already know and mingle with those you don’t. There are so many opportunities just waiting behind the doors you’ve closed because you’ve let your fears outweigh your desires; so many possibilities just begging to be stumbled upon.

Don’t waste the time you have to do things you’ve always wanted to do, simply because you’re too busy being afraid. Now may be the only chance you have to do that, these last few years before adulthood comes knocking on your door.

In the film “We Bought A Zoo,” Matt Damon’s character, Benjamin Mee, says, “You know, sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage. Just literally 20 seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you something great will come of it.”

So, take your 20 seconds. Imagine all the good things that can happen. Do something that scares you and you’ll never have to ask yourself, “What if…?”

Dobyns-Bennett senior Scottie Garber shares her insights and experiences from senior year each month in “The Graduation Bucket List.”

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